Gamers are always hunting for a competitive edge, and the folks at Bigfoot Networks—now a part of Qualcomm Atheros—have long promised to deliver network interface cards that perform better with online games and other latency-sensitive applications. To demonstrate its prowess in this area, the company sent me two identical Alienware notebooks, one equipped with Qualcomm’s Killer Wireless-N 1202 and the other with Intel’s Centrino Advanced-N 6230.
Both NICs are dual-band adapters that can connect to an 802.11n router on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency band. Both also support two spatial streams for a maximum physical link rate of 300 megabits per second. Some gaming-laptop manufacturers, including Alienware, offer Killer NICs as standard equipment, while others offer the adapters as added-cost upgrades. You can also purchase one of these cards by itself and upgrade your existing notebook, provided that the system has an available Mini PCIe slot to host the card (a common feature on better notebooks). The Killer Wireless-N 1202 is certainly inexpensive enough: I’ve seen it selling online for as little as $35 (Intel’s card is street-priced at about $30).
The key selling point of Killer NIC technology is its ability to identify the types of traffic traveling over your network and to assign higher priority to latency-sensitive traffic, such as online games, HD video, and audio.
Latency is a measure of time delay. When applications such as online games and streaming media encounter too much latency, you’ll end up with visible and/or audible glitches and hiccups. If you’re playing a first-person shooter with an online opponent, latency can render you a frustratingly easy target.
Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld